SBD/July 19, 2012/Olympics

Nightly London Games Light Show Will Be Dictated By Mood Of British Tweets

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London Eye's light show will happen each night through the Olympics, Paralympics
The mood "of the British tweeting public during the Olympics and Paralympics will dictate what colour the London Eye turns every evening at 9pm, in the world's first social media driven light show,” according to Emma Barnett of the London TELEGRAPH. A group of MIT graduates and Univ. of Wolverhampton professor Mike Thelwall, who is “an expert in social media linguistic analysis, have been tracking all UK-based Olympic-related tweets for the last couple of months.” Thelwall and the graduates, who "run an art and technology company called Sosolimited, have been commissioned to develop an intuitive algorithm to track the sentiment of British tweeters about the Olympics by EDF Energy, the official electricity supplier" of the London Games. The team will "create the ‘world’s first social media driven light show,’ called ‘Energy of the Nation’ on the London Eye (which EDF sponsor).” From tonight onwards at 9:00pm London time, there "will be a 30 minute light show projected onto the London Eye.” It will happen “at the same time every single evening leading up to and during the Olympics and Paralympics.” The algorithm “splits the tweets into positive and negative conversations and filters them through a programme, which systematically converts them into a lightshow.” The colors of the lights “will be dictated in real time by the mood of the people tweeting about the Olympics.” If the overall sentiment is negative, the London Eye "will glow purple.” If it is positive, it “will shine yellow and if the Twitter reaction to the Games is neutral, the wheel will emit green rays” (London TELEGRAPH, 7/19).
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